ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Trying to Increase Productivity
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Trying to Increase Productivity

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone, I recently joined the forums basically to ask this one question: how can I increase my staff's productivity during downtime?

 

I'll give you a little background to my situation.

 

Before the economy went into the toilet in 2008, the restaurant I was working in as a Sous was doing approximately 2.2 million gross/year. After 2008, sales slowly declined hitting 2 million in 2009, 1.9 in 2010, and the trend is leading to 1.75 by the end of our current fiscal year. As a result of declining sales, my brigade has been dwindling due to layoffs, people quitting due to lack of hours, etc.. In 2009 our Exec left to our owners second location and I was promoted to Exec. I am now in my 2nd year of running my first kitchen.

 

On to the problem. So I've finally worked out a schedule where I can run my best/most loyal 4 cooks on 4-10 hour shifts per week and have the 2 others work part time filler shifts. This gives me flexibility in the schedule while saving approximately 35-40 man hours per week at a dollar savings of about 450/week. The issue is that because of the 10 hour shifts there is a lot of overlap during slow periods of the day and that leaves me with guys standing around doing jack. Initially this problem was solved by tearing the kitchen apart and bringing it to a lovely gleaming shine, but now a few weeks down the road, the kitchen is clean, the prep is done, the food goes out, and I'm stuck paying my premium hourly's to stand around with thumbs up their butts.

 

I need some suggestions on how I can utilize down time with these people. I'm already running a skeleton crew so short of firing me and bringing in a cheap KM there isn't much more we can do in the way of layoffs. Help me out so that my GM doesn't crawl down my throat for having people standing around and getting paid. I'm out of ideas...

 

Cra5h

post #2 of 5

Look at your menus and see if there's something that can be made instead of bought. Weigh the cost or product/labor against the cost of the pre-made. this would add more work to their prep lists.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

Look at your menus and see if there's something that can be made instead of bought. Weigh the cost or product/labor against the cost of the pre-made. this would add more work to their prep lists.


Problem is, I already run a 95% from scratch kitchen.

 

post #4 of 5

What can you make and sell on the side?

 

Gourmet sauces/reductions?

Salad dressings?

Preserves/conserves?

Seasonal stuff like Xmas puddings?

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #5 of 5

Quote:

Originally Posted by cra5h ov3ride View Post
...I need some suggestions on how I can utilize down time with these people. I'm already running a skeleton crew so short of firing me and bringing in a cheap KM there isn't much more we can do in the way of layoffs. Help me out so that my GM doesn't crawl down my throat for having people standing around and getting paid. I'm out of ideas...

 

Cra5h

So, the problem is personnel standing around, doing nothing, and getting paid. You have two choices:

  • When there is nothing to do, they "clock out" and "clock in" when there is something to do.
  • Figure out something to do that brings in more revenue than their pay+overhead+COGS

 

It sounds like the first choice, effectively cutting payroll costs, is not feasible. Understandable for a number of reasons. But, can you restructure to give your valued employees the same hours per day and not utilize call-ins?

  • You're currently running four 10 hour shifts to accomplish what?
  • What are your current service hours (times when customers give you money)?
  • How many days a week are you open for service?
  • How many meal parts do you serve, one, two, three?
  • You're paying 160 man-hours for four days. What do you do the other three days?
  • Why are you using 10/4 scheduling?
  • Have you considered a 7/6 rolling schedule, i.e.

-777777 = 42

7-77777 = 42

77-7777 = 42

777-777 = 42

 

160--->168, part timers 0

 

that give you a three man crew on Sunday through Wednesday and a four man crew on Th-F-S. You can slide the schedule to match your busy days.  Kicks to pay up for the four loyal ones, spreads the "down time" to where it is needed, and gets rid of the part timers.

I'd take a hard look at your sales hours and schedule around those hours.

 

The second option probably involves something along the lines pointed out by FoodPump

 

 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Trying to Increase Productivity